In October 2016, I filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Salazar-Limon v. City of Houston, No. 16-515, seeking review of a decision of the Fifth Circuit. Excerpts of the petition are below. The City of Houston waived a response, but the Supreme Court requested one. The City then filed its Brief in Opposition, and we filed a Reply Brief.
The case involves basic questions of summary judgment under Rule 56--in essence, when is a person entitled to a jury trial? It also involves a frequent issue that arises in police shootings: How does the judicial system account for the officer's claim that he shot the person because the person allegedly "reached for his waistband"?
When a police officer shoots an unarmed person in the back and the person testifies that he was merely walking away when shot, may a court grant summary judgment to the officer in a suit for excessive force by concluding that it is an “undisputed fact” that the person reached for his waistband just because the officer said he did?